Snowtown (2011) Film Review


In 1999, human remains were found in a series of barrels in a disused bank. This isn’t some gory fiction; this is the real story of the worst serial killer in Australian history. As the case was investigated, more strange facts began to come out about who the deceased and the killers were and why the murders took place.

I’d avoided seeing Snowtown in the cinemas as I was completely convinced it was going to be a gory, spectacular horror like Wolf Creek, a film I’ve vowed never to watch (because I am a total scaredy cat). Then it was featured as part of the series of movies presented by Sandy George on Saturday night, and I decided to give it a go.

Based on the true story, director Justin Kurzel interviewed hundreds of locals about the nineties when the killings took place. Most people in the film are not professional actors, but locals who lived through these events. What he has crafted is a fictionalized version of this time, and it is not a schlock horror film. Yes, there are certainly horrible scenes, and gross scenes and violent scenes. But more so is the depressing dark mood that is characteristic of many dark, Australian films. Films like The Boys, Candy and Animal Kingdom.

It is definitely a tough film to watch, but I would highly recommend it. Perhaps just try to pair it with something a bit lighter.

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